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Princess ex Machina
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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

A cheery cream blob came into view of the valley for the first time, her pink tongue lolling from her mouth as she surveyed the area.  It looked great!  It looked exciting!  It looked… nothing like home, which was good.  Very good.  Now… what was the easiest way off of the mountain she found herself upon?  Moving with cautious grace, the previous royal padded downwards one rock at a time until she reached smoother land.

It had been several days since her guardian had left her to find food, but surely he would catch up?  He’d been the one to tell her to venture south of the mountains, after all.  Rithya was sure that he would be able to find her once he himself managed to cross the pass.  Until then, she would be a good little Princess and wait for him.

Er… ex Princess.

Almost as if on cue, the little girl’s paw came up to cover the gray blotches on her snout, the ones that had marked her as illegitimate and a disgrace to the royal line.  Ever the sensitive little lass, Rithya’s eyes began to well up just thinking about it.  Thinking about her face made her think about her home, and her home meant her momma and all of her siblings.

Good gracious.  Now her highness was crying.

Apr 17, 2018 09:59 AM

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

Still, Freyar was on the mountain.

He was going to leave. Soon. He had made up his mind- it was just a matter of making himself do it, convincing himself. Mountains had always been home to Freyar, since the second he came into the world. He could still remember his mouth, underfed, tired Lisa, with distant eyes, looking up at the first snowfall he had ever seen. The gods cry, she had said, and their tears turn to clouds, and the clouds from their world come to ours cold and thick, to cover the land until it heals again.

He had believed it then. Nowadays, he rarely thought about it.

Time passed by strangely on the mountain, but Freyar could tell autumn was here. Last autumn, Freyar had been alone. This autumn, he was alone too, although he had not expected to be. Not after the Fellowship had appeared in his life.

And yet, here he was.

Loneliness was a strange thing, because it happened to everyone, regardless of the circumstances- Freyar was lonely, in a way he had not particularly experienced before, yet at the same time so were so many other wolves across the Valley, across the world. A world Freyar would surely never get to explore, but a world he wondered about nonetheless.

Pale as she was, and drifting as he was, Freyar did not instantly notice the pale form. It was small, but not overly so, and Freyar paused, eyes going round as he studied it. A wolf. A puppy.

This couldn’t be good.

Freyar swallowed, sniffed the air. No trace of another scent that would betray a caretaker. Just a little one, alone?

He took a step forward, and then another. The girl’s paw was up on her snout, covering it- hurt, perhaps? Freyar hoped not.

“Hello.” His voice had a question at the end, although he hadn’t meant for it to- his tone was gentle. He did not want to scare the little one.
Apr 17, 2018 10:34 AM — Post #1

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

Fat tears rolled down her crinkled cheeks as the image of her mother lay fresh in her mind.  Her mother, the Queen.  And all of her older siblings, Princes and Princesses.  She was the only one who made them disappointed.  She was a disgrace.

Usually Rithya wasn’t the type to wallow in self-pity.  But, at the moment, the child was feeling a bit… overwhelmed.  Her supposed guardian who should have been back by now was not, and while Rithya wanted to believe that he was merely late, something inside her knew otherwise.

She was about to curl into herself on the mountain slope when a voice rang out through the air, cutting through the breeze like a blade.  Rithya was quick to freeze, mid-hiccup, her paw poised above her muzzle.

Slowly, ever so slowly, her green eyes slid to the side so that she held the intruder in her gaze.  A male, quite taller and older than she.


As if on cue, Rithya’s spine straightened and ears perked, taking on a more appropriate stance for a girl of her stature.  Her paw remained over her snout, as she was too embarrassed to show the stranger her deformity.  Her curse.

“G-”  Hiccup.  “Good day, sir.”

Yes, that was better.  The right amount of authority and pleasantry was applied to her tone, though authority was something she no longer had.  As long as she could keep her eyes dry and her muzzle hidden, Rithya would be fine. 

Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.

Apr 17, 2018 10:48 AM — Post #2

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

She was crying.

It was easy to tell, from the hiccups and the tears. Freyar did not remember the last time he had interacted with a puppy, much less a distressed one, but his heart ached at the sight of her. Children should not be sad. They should be protected, and looked after, and taught about the world. Clearly, she was alone. She should not be alone.

Freyar drew breath slowly.

He didn’t want to intimidate her, not because he was a stranger nor because he was a giant, and so he moved slowly towards her, keeping his posture as nonthreatening as possible, his steps soft against the mountain earth.

Loneliness was a strange thing.

“Why do you cry?”, he asked ever so gently, lowering his head to be at a level.
Apr 17, 2018 10:59 AM — Post #3

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

He was coming closer.

Get back!  She wanted to yell.  Instead she scooted backwards with as much dignity as the little Princess could muster.  Wasn’t she strong and fierce?  Couldn’t he see that?  She would rip him to pieces if he took another step forwards!  She would call on her advisors to take him away!

It dawned on her, and not for the first time, that she no longer had any advisors or council members to save her or to take care of her.  Only her guardian.

He wanted to know why she was crying.

“Not cryin’”  She muttered before correcting her illegitimate grammar.  “Crying.”  That was better.

“Just got dust in my eyes.”  Ah, to hell with grammar.  She was no longer royal, was she?  Rithya could talk however she pleased.

“I’m waitin’ for someone.”

Maybe if she told him this, he would leave her be.  Her advisors used to warn her against strangers, that they would want to kidnap little girls like herself.

Rithya wasn’t going anywhere.  Not on her watch.

Apr 17, 2018 05:03 PM — Post #4

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

Okay. So the little one did not want to be approached- that was respectable. Had he been her, Freyar assumed, he would want strange big males to stay away too.

She was crying, but he decided against arguing with her. Clearly, she was distraught, and alone, and he couldn’t blame her. So Freyar took a step back, giving her her space, but did not leave, instead silently watching her for a moment.

“How long have you been waiting?”

This did not sound right. A puppy all alone with no guardian around, up on the mountains no less. The mountains were no place for a lonely puppy.
Apr 20, 2018 11:50 AM — Post #5

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

The peasant wanted to know how long she had been waiting.  Well, Rithya didn’t have to disclose that sort of information with him, did she?  She may no longer be a Princess with a title, but she was sure as hell royal.  Rithya had her father’s blood still flowing in her veins, so as long as it stayed there, she would remain the same.

Still, a little part of her wanted to prove this stranger wrong.  She wanted to prove that she was okay and that she most certainly wasn’t crying.  Because, embarrassing.

“Three days.”  Rithya announced in a matter-of-fact tone, though it was a bit muffled through the paw that rested on her snout.  Her guardian was coming for her.  He’d said so himself.  Previous doubts had to be erased in order for Rithya to survive.  Maybe he’d just had some troubles along the mountains.

He was coming.

And then she wouldn’t be lonely anymore.

Apr 20, 2018 12:10 PM — Post #6

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

Three days.

She was… something, wasn’t she? None the less, Freyar was not going to leave a puppy all alone. Three days was a long time to be alone for one so young. Heavens, he wished he knew more about children.

“You must be hungry.”

Had she eaten at all those three days? The mountains were hard when it came to hunting, especially for the inexperienced. For a puppy with no one to hunt for them, it must have been ever more so. She mustn’t even be a yearling just yet, he mused silently, studying the white girl. It wasn’t hard to understand he had to tread carefully.

If she had been waiting for three days, that someone was not very reliable.
Apr 22, 2018 05:11 AM — Post #7

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

You must be hungry.

Almost as if on cue, Rithya’s stomach growled.  Damned stomach.  It was true: the Princess hadn’t eaten in nearly five days, though her guardian had gone missing two days after that.  It wasn’t hard to say that she was struggling in nature by herself, especially with the lack of food in the mountains and training.  She was a fair huntress when it came to pack hunts, but by herself she could only manage to snare rabbits and mice, none of which she’d seen in the mountain craggs.

“Yes, sir.”

She uttered politely, albeit muffled.  Her emerald eyes were still narrowed in suspicion, but she couldn’t get past the fact that this male might be offering her food.

In which case, she would be the perfect little Princess.

Feed her if you dare.

Apr 23, 2018 10:05 AM — Post #8

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

The girl’s admitance almost made Freyar smile, but he kept himself impassive, in case he made her think he was being smug. Instead, he nodded, letting his gaze scan the mountains. Mountain goats were too big to hunt on one’s own, and with winter coming, squirrels might already be hiding in their nests. What was there to hunt? They could hope for a corpse, but that would take along. Freyar was harshly hit with the realization that he might have to abandon the mountains soon.

He sighed through his nose, turning back to the girl, his eyes gentle.

“We might be able to find some squirrels up here,” he started gently, “But I would suggest going a little lower for food.” It was a risky suggestion when the girl was waiting for someone, but it was not healthy for a puppy to be out here all alone. Not every wolf had good intentions, and young ones were easy prey. “There’s a lake close to here, with fish and rodents. Or lower, there’s a prairie, with many rabbits and squirrels.”

Perhaps that would be enticing enough. Freyar cleared his throat after a moment, adding softly as an afterthought: “My name is Freyar.”
May 06, 2018 07:06 AM — Post #9

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

Rithya decided within moments that she didn’t necessarily dislike this male.  That, however, meant by no standards that she liked him either.  He acted almost like an advisor—a council member that Rithya’s parents had been so very fond of once upon a time.  His deep voice and gentle blue eyes made the Princess think of her father, and it was all she could do not to burst into tears.  Where was her guardian?!  He was supposed to be here a very long time ago!  Why was nothing going as it should have been?  Tears of frustration welled in the Princess’s emerald orbs and her throat stung from keeping her mouth shut, for she knew that if she opened it, the dam would break and the waterworks would flow freely.

But I would suggest going a little lower for food.

Yes, now the Sir sounded exactly like a council member.  Familiar melancholic pangs shot through the girl’s heart like lightning as she averted her eyes.  Hiding the single tear that escaped her eyes.

Though the Sir continued to talk, Rithya made out only few words.  Lake.  Prairie.  Rabbits and squirrels.  Small animals to feast on, no doubt.  But Freyar, as he had introduced himself, underestimated one very large thing about Rithya.

Her loyalty.

She had been scorned and kicked like a sick dog out of her home to live in exile among the harsh elements of the real world.  Time and time again she had spent alone, mind you.  But she would never forget what it was to be a highborn daughter of her Kingdom, what it meant to be a Princess of Hilyra.  They were loyal till the end.

Suddenly, her eyes dried and hiccuping ceased.  She regained some composure of her previous stature, raising those bright eyes to meet Sir Freyar’s, realizing that she hadn’t returned the pleasantry of her name.

“I am Rithya of Hilyra.”  No longer a Princess but regal all the same.  “You may head south if it ‘lease you.”

And suddenly the readers understood the second thing about Princess Rithya.  Her inability to pronounce the letter ‘p’, simply replaced by not speaking it at all.

Sir Freyar could do whatever he wished.  Rithya was staying put.

May 06, 2018 02:13 PM — Post #10

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

Freyar sighed through his nose again. A stubborn little thing, was she not? For a few moments, he stayed quiet, just studying the girl, the white of her fur, the brightness of her eyes. The way she still kept her paw on her muzzle. She would not budge, despite the fact that whoever she was waiting for had clearly stood her up. Her loyalty was admirable, but also something that would get her killed. Freyar had to try another route.

“It is not in the nature of any decent wolf to leave a puppy alone”, he said softly, gently, testing the water. He did not want to offend her by suggesting bad things about her guardian, although he was clearly not good at him job. But Freyar didn’t want to leave her alone. He couldn’t.

He cleared his throat again.

“Down by the lake”, he continued, in an equally genle tone, “There’s a woman. Her name is Sparrow. She has puppies of her own, and she could help you stay safe and fed until your guardian shows up. And it’s still in the mountains, so he wouldn’t get lost.”

Perhaps this would find her more accepting.
May 06, 2018 02:46 PM — Post #11

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

It is not in the nature of any decent wolf to leave a puppy alone

Rithya’s green gaze narrowed and fur prickled.  That wasn’t what her guardian was doing.  He wasn’t leaving her alone.  He was just… directing her towards a place where he would soon come later.  Which wasn’t the same thing, mind you.

Sir Freyar continued to ramble on about the lake, which was apparently inhabited by the Lady Sparrow and her offspring.  It didn’t sound like a Kingdom since there was just the one lady and her offspring, but Rithya had heard of settlements to the south before.  Maybe this was one of them.

Still, the Princess didn’t like the way that Sir Freyar was trying to get her to leave.  Was he a kidnapper?  Paid by others to abduct wolves of high stature?  It couldn’t be.  He seemed honorable.  That didn’t mean that she was going to follow him, though.

“And why should I trust you, Sir Freyar?”  She huffed, little cream head bobbing with assertiveness.  “If the Lady S’arrow wants to kee’ me safe, she can come u’ here herself.”

There.  Take that Sir Freyar.

May 06, 2018 03:26 PM — Post #12

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Name Player
Freyar Gabriel Lucas

Freyar considered himself to be a largely patient wolf, but this puppy really did seem eager to draw things out. He sighed through his nose.

“It’s not in the nature of a decent wolf to leave their own children alone, either.” Or so he hoped. It was not a field in which Freyar had personal experience in, but alas, it did not need a lot of thought or experience to draw such a conclussion.

“Girl”, he continued gently, “Guardian or not, it will not help you or him if you end up starving or dead. The mountains are not a gentle place, not for a wolf who needs guidance still.” Not for adults, either, if they did not how to guide them proper. Even Freyar, who had grown up in mountains such as these, found them difficult and harsh sometimes, despite his love for them.

“Your… wilfulness is admirable, and perhaps it will get you far, but use it to keep yourself alive. Find a way to stay safe until he arrives, even if you do not want to heed another’s warnings.”
May 17, 2018 07:02 AM — Post #13

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Name Player
Rithya Lilja

It’s not in the nature of a decent wolf to leave their own children alone, either.

Rithya peered up at him with large green eyes.  “Not my guardian’s child.  He did not sire her.  He was only present to protect her.  And while the girl had enjoyed his company, she also had to admit that there was something off about the male that had accompanied her this far south.  He had been… quiet.  Distant.  As if he hadn’t really… wanted to be there.  But that was absurd, wasn’t it?  It was his job to be with her.  She was the Princess!  Or… she was.  Rithya was still working out her new titles.


“I’m no girl.”  The cream pup protested, voice as haughty as could be for a child’s voice.  She was indeed a girl, but believed herself to be so much more.  She was royalty, Sir Freyar.  Get it in your head.  “I am Rithya of Hilyra.”  She’d said that before, Sir Freyar.  Do your best to remember this time.

Find a way to stay safe until he arrives, even if you do not want to heed another’s warnings.

He sounded like one of the many advisers Rithya had had in her possession in Hilyra.  Always giving advice.  Counseling.  Guiding.  In that moment, little Rithya decided something.

“You’re tall.”  She declared, a paw still held over her maw.  “Your name should be tall, too.”  She took a moment to survey the male before coming to a conclusion.  “Sir Tallest.”

Now that that was out of the way…

“No.”  Her butt was firmly planted on the ground, symbolizing her refusal to go anywhere.  “I will not go.”

May 17, 2018 09:51 AM — Post #14

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